Treatments for Kidney Cancer
While standard protocols have been established for the treatment of virtually all cancers, physicians will often modify them for their individual patients. These modifications are based on many factors including the patient’s age, general health, desired results, and the specific characteristics of the cancer. Since the treatments described in this report represent the standard therapeutic approaches, your physician may not strictly adhere to them.
The goal of treatment is to eliminate the cancer or, if this is not possible, to limit its further growth and control the symptoms. The treatment and management of kidney cancer may involve surgery, biological therapy, and radiation therapy.
Surgery is the primary, curative treatment. Removing all or part of the kidney, in a procedure called a
If you cannot have surgery due to other health conditions, radiation and arterial embolization may slow the disease’s progression. Arterial embolization is a treatment to block blood flow. However, neither of these treatments provides a cure for kidney cancer.
Radiation and chemotherapy are typically not as effective for kidney cancer as for many other types of cancer. A biological therapy, called interleukin 2 (aldesleukin), may be recommended to treat kidney cancer that has spread. About 15% people treated with interleukin 2 have some shrinkage of their cancer.
Also, a new form of medications called targeted therapy has shown some progress in controlling advanced kidney cancer. This medications block cellular pathways controlling tumor growth.
Select a topic below for a thorough discussion of each kidney cancer treatment option:
Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the government website ClinicalTrials.gov .
American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp?level=0 .
Kidney Cancer Association website. Available at: http://www.kidneycancerassociation.org/ .
National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/ .
Last reviewed November 2008 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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